12 Funniest ‘Friends’ Episodes, Ranked 

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Alongside other classic comedies like Seinfeld and The Office, Friends is one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time and an essential staple in television history. Throughout the show’s ten-season run, Friends became a global phenomenon known for its lovable cast and iconic storylines that have yet to be surpassed by any other sitcom.



But what is it that made the show so funny? Friends features high-quality comedic writing, but certain episodes would be nothing without the incredibly talented cast. There are specific episodes, such as “The One with the Embryos” and “The One with the Jellyfish,” that are simply the cream of the crop. Looking at Friends and its various seasons, it is a joy to mark these twelve episodes as the absolute funniest of them all.


Friends

Release Date
September 22, 1994

Main Genre
Sitcom

Seasons
10

Studio

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12 “The One with the Nap Partners”

Season 7, Episode 6 (2000)

Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer as Joey and Ross, sleeping on a couch together in Friends
Image via NBC


It is no secret that, as an adult, naps are so much more meaningful than they were as a child. This is seen in full force when Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Ross (David Schwimmer) fall asleep while watching a movie and accidentally end up taking a nap together. The true hilarity of it all is when they realize that they genuinely enjoyed it but are too embarrassed to admit it.

While Joey and Ross are learning the comfort of being nap time buddies, Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) battle it out to see who will earn the coveted position of Monica’s (Courteney Cox) maid of honor and foolishly decide to leave the choice in the hands of the guys. Featuring the comedic Friends characters at their goofiest, Joey’s neverending attempts to get Ross to nap with him and Phoebe’s pretend maid-of-honor speech are just a few reasons why this is one of the funniest episodes.


11 “The One Where Paul’s the Man”

Season 6, Episode 22 (2000)

Paul (Bruce Willis) dancing in front of a mirror while Ross (David Schwimmer) hides under the bed in Friends
Image via NBC

In this wonderfully hilarious episode, Paul (Bruce Willis) goes as far as to threaten Ross to stop dating his daughter, Elizabeth (Alexandra Holden) — who is also one of Ross’s students — which he, of course, doesn’t abide by. While the scenario is not all that humorous in and of itself, it’s the way that Willis delivers his lines and Schwimmer’s reactions that make this such a gut-busting episode.

Before Willis was an action star, he made a career for himself as a comedic actor, and this episode is a perfect reminder of his roots. His timing and delivery of his lines are not just great handling of the writer’s great work. No, it is an amazing presentation by a truly phenomenal actor who deserves more recognition for his comedic talents. Seeing Willis in rare comedic form plus the banter between him and Schwimmer are what make this one of the funniest Friends episodes.


10 “The One Where Ross Is Fine”

Season 10, Episode 2 (2003)

Ross (David Schwimmer) standing in a doorway, saying he's fine, in Friends
Image via NBC

Even though Ross says that he’s fine with their relationship, the newest couple on Friends, Joey and Rachel, become anxious at the thought that Ross might actually have an issue with them being together. After a horrifically awkward double date with him and Charlie (Aisha Tyler), Ross ultimately admits it still hurts him but gives Joey his blessing to continue dating Rachel.

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Along with the silly antics of Ross’ drunken double date, viewers see the wonderfully funny Frank Buffay Jr. (Giovanni Ribisi) walk Phoebe through his struggles with his triplets. As any parent knows, new baby exhaustion is real, and it makes you say and do wildly ridiculous things – fans see this fully through this relatable Friends episode!

9 “The One with All the Resolutions”

Season 5, Episode 11 (1999)

Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) looking at each other intensely, while Rachel clasps her hands together on Friends
Image via NBC

With a New Year ahead of them, all the Friends decide to make and stay committed to their resolutions. Joey wants to learn to play the guitar, Phoebe wants to become a pilot, and Ross decides to try new things each day. Monica, who wants to take more pictures of the group, suggests that Rachel should give up gossiping, and everyone bets Chandler (Matthew Perry) that he can’t go a whole week without making fun of them.


The most hilarious moment of this episode comes from an underrated scene when Ross decides to buy leather pants to wear on a date. When the pants cause him to overheat, he decides to get some relief in the bathroom, but as he tries to pull them back up, he can’t get them to budge. A phone call to Joey and a combination of baby powder, lotion, and a bunch of physical comedy make this a truly marvelous (and hysterical) episode.

8 “The One with Unagi”

Season 6, Episode 17 (2000)

Ross (David Schwimmer) holding his fingers to his head, explaining Unagi on Friends
Image via NBC

When Rachel and Phoebe take self-defense classes, Ross tries to convince him that he’s a master of Unagi, which according to him, means the state of total awareness. Meanwhile, Joey hires an actor to play his identical twin, so he can join a paid medical study, and Chandler panics when he forgets to make Monica a Valentine’s Day gift and accidentally gives her a mixed tape made by his ex-girlfriend, Janice (Maggie Wheeler).


Ross failing to surprise attack Phoebe and Rachel and Joey’s new twin are just some of the sidesplitting moments from this episode. According to Friends: The Reunion, “fake Joey” is played by Louis Mandylor, who had originally auditioned for the role of Joey and actually made it to the final round of casting. This redeeming moment of Mandylor and Ross being chased by women whom he mistook for Rachel and Phoebe qualifies this as one of the funniest Friends episodes.

7 “The One Where They All Turn Thirty”

Season 7, Episode 14 (2001)

Matthew Perry as Chandler, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel, David Schwimmer as Ross, Courteney Cox as Monica, and Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe standing around Matt LeBlanc as Joey for his 30th birthday in Friends
Image via NBC

When everyone arrives to celebrate Rachel’s 30th birthday on Friends, she’s far from overjoyed about the milestone (presents don’t even help!) In an attempt to cheer her up, everyone shares their experience of turning the big 3-0, which some take better than others. From Phoebe learning that she missed her 30th birthday to Ross buying a sports car, the episode never fails to deliver laugh after laugh.


As Rachel tries to figure out her life’s plan, everyone shares their less-than-practical birthdays, which, in true Friends fashion, are uniquely tailored to each character. There are several notable moments in this episode, but the variety of scenarios and Joey’s relatable funny quotes while pleading with God to let the others grow old instead of him make this a vitally funny Friends episode. – Andrea Ciriaco

6 “The One Where Ross Got High”

Season 6, Episode 9 (1999)

Jack and Judy Geller (Elliott Gould and Christina Pickles) sitting with Ross (David Schwimmer), Chandler (Matthew Perry), and Monica (Courteney Cox) in Friends
Image via NBC

In another fantastic Thanksgiving episode from Friends, Monica and Ross’ parents (Elliott Gould and Christina Pickles) are coming over for the holiday and Monica has the uncomfortable task of telling Chandler that her parents hate him. As Chandler tries to figure out why the Gellers dislike him, Ross reveals that while home for summer during college, his parents caught him smoking marijuana and, in a panic, he blamed it on Chandler.


Everything comes to a head when Ross and Monica engage in a shouting match that involves them tattling on each other like typical siblings would do at the age of seven. While Monica and Ross are the main source of laughter, the most memorable moment of the episode is Rachel’s half-English trifle and half-Shepherd’s Pie dessert, which no one likes, well, except for Joey, of course.

5 “The One with the Jellyfish”

Season 4, Episode 1 (1997)

Joey (Matt LeBlanc) playing in the sand while Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) sit on the beach and watch on Friends
Image via NBC

While still on their mini vacation in Montauk, Joey, Monica, and Chandler spend the day together at the beach. The day starts like any other, but when Monica gets stung by a jellyfish, the trio has to resort to a rather gross level to ease her pain that haunts them all the way back to the city.


It isn’t so much the actual moment of Monica getting stung that’s hilarious, but when the three friends finally agree to tell the others about what happened. Monica setting the dramatic tone like a hard-boiled detective from a classic film noir and Chandler shrieking in horror are just a few reasons why this reigns as one of the funniest Friends episodes.

4 “The One with the Rumor”

Season 8, Episode 9 (2001)

Will Colbert (Brad Pitt) looking angrily at Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) while Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) watches on Friends
Image via NBC

In another one of the show’s Thanksgiving episodes, Season 8, Episode 9, “The One With the Rumor,” Monica runs into an old friend of hers and Ross from high school, Will (Brad Pitt), and invites him over for Thanksgiving dinner. Will explains how he used to be a lot heavier in high school and went through a serious glow-up, but the beauty of Pitt’s character is that he absolutely hates Rachel, who used to make fun of him.


It’s no secret that Pitt’s guest appearance is one of the show’s best cameos, but aside from it being, well, Brad Pitt, his character despising his real-life wife at the time, Aniston, is what makes this one of the funniest Friends episodes. The scenario is heightened to hilarious levels as Rachel fails to remember Will and soon learns that he and Ross started an “I Hate Rachel Club,” putting Ross in a rather awkward situation.

3 “The One Where No One’s Ready”

Season 3, Episode 2 (1996)

In this sidesplitting bottle episode of Friends, Ross is trying to get everyone ready for an event at the museum and there is zero cooperation. Chaos ensues as the clock continues to tick, with Chandler and Joey starting a ridiculous argument and engaging in a series of pranks, and Rachel struggling to find the perfect outfit for the occasion.


The episode’s most memorable moment, though, is without a doubt when Joey comes in wearing every single item of Chandler’s clothing, exclaiming, in his best Chandler impression — “Could I be wearing any more clothes?!” It should have been called, “The One When Joey Wears All of Chandler’s Clothes” because that is the greatest takeaway from this entire episode.

2 “The One Where Everybody Finds Out”

Season 5, Episode 14 (1999)

Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Monica (Courteney Cox) hugging while Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) looks at them and smiles on Friends
Image via NBC

While the first time declaring love for each other is usually reserved for a special moment, Season 5, Episode 14 of Friends, entitled “The One Where Everybody Finds Out,” takes the cake. When Ross, Rachel, and Phoebe are looking at Ugly Naked Guy’s apartment, Phoebe sees Monica and Chandler fooling around from the window and finally learns that they have secretly been seeing each other.


Instead of telling them that they know, Rachel and Phoebe devise a plan to seduce Chandler and get him to admit that he’s been seeing Monica. Friends embraces the running gag of “they know we know, but they don’t know that we know,” and the episode ensues in a series of hilarious (and slightly awkward) moments, such as Joey revealing Chandler’s secret fear of bras, solidifying this as one of the funniest episodes.

1 “The One With the Embryos”

Season 4, Episode 12 (1998)

Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Chandler (Matthew Perry), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), and Monica (Courteney Cox) sit on a couch and looking up eagerly on Friends
Image via NBC

When Chandler and Joey think they know Monica and Rachel better than the duo knows them, they decide to settle the issue with a game of trivia. With Ross serving as “game master,” each team has to answer specific questions about each other, and when the competition heats up, the stakes are raised and ends with the boys winning the girls’ apartment.


In 2018, TV Guide ranked Season 4, Episode 12, “The One with the Embryos,” as the series’ best overall episode. Between the random trivia questions created by Ross and the dramatically intense, but comical, battle of the sexes, it’s easy to see why this episode reigns as not only one of the best but also the funniest Friends episode of all time. – Andrea Ciriaco

NEXT: The Best Holiday Episodes From ‘Friends’, Ranked According to IMDb



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